“Writing is becoming a commodity. High level writers in 2010 won’t be known for the writing—they’ll be known for the thinking that went into it, and the usefulness that delivered to the reader,” he mandates.
Modern content development is modern thinking
For example, he pointed out how marketing firms are known for pegging 1-3% ROI as the typical success of direct mail campaigns developing content. “Ridiculous. Great campaigns have 18-20% ROI. The difference is, smart writers weed out unresponsive people using PURLs or other scientific techniques, so the overall ROI of their message is much higher than the traditional benchmarks you’re used to seeing.”
Focus on the reader and his content interests
His advice to writers is straightforward:
- Learn a field beyond grammar and vocabulary.
- Apply your verbal skills to that field in deep, rich ways that broaden human understanding.
- Apply math and science to your results so you know your ROI and the people who pay your bills have every reason to pay you what you’re worth.
In 2010, Scott foresees lots of jobs that require writers for content development—but few that mandate English students and grammarians that pay above minimum wage. “Writers want success to be about writing. It’s not—it’s about the publishing process and the end result—the engagement with the reader. Until writers start focusing on readers, they’ll be chained to Gutenberg and suffer the same fate—burial.”